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Old December 28th, 2006, 10:02 AM   #1
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New Porsche museum takes to the air

Stuttgart. 450 days after the ground-breaking ceremony, the shell of Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG’s new museum in Stuttgart Zuffenhausen is largely completed as 2006 draws to a close. An important construction phase is thus concluded: the underground car park, ground floor, first floor and central girders, the “cores”, made from reinforced concrete have been constructed. At total of 21,000 cubic meters of concrete have been used. The around 100 employees – partly thanks to the mild weather of recent weeks – have made rapid progress, even during the cold season. Many night shifts were arranged to lift major parts of the construction into place by crane, and on several occasions Schwieberdinger Strasse (B 27) was closed on one side during at night when there was little traffic on the roads.

Lift shafts, stairwells and service channels are now in place in the three building cores. These also serve as heavy load-bearing supports for the exhibition area, which will cover 5,600 square meters and hover over the first floor as a building in its own right. Employees are currently pulling eight inch-thick steel wires through one of the Y-shaped supports. Each of the 22 meter-long wires is secured as an abutment and must be prestressed with a tensile force of 300 tons using a special apparatus. The technology being used is derived from bridge construction and is required on static grounds – to provide sufficient support for the audacious architecture of the new Porsche museum. Once completed, the exhibition area will weigh 35,000 tons and will house 80 valuable museum vehicles and 200 further exhibits from the history of the Zuffenhausen-based car manufacturer.

In the meantime, the futuristic museum with its striking contours is now beginning to take shape. The actual exhibition area is being constructed as a steel shell. 500 of a total of 6,000 tons of steel are already in place. The imposing frame construction – similar to those used in ship and aircraft construction – sketches the future silhouette of the museum, which is located directly adjacent to the parent factory and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2008.

“The steel girders have a span of up to 60 meters and are bridged between the supports. This design creates the impression that the exhibition hall is hovering above the rest of the building,” remarks Christina Becker, project manager for the new museum construction. The steel construction work is being continued section by section from east to west (from the S-Bahn overpass in the direction of Porscheplatz/ Porsche showroom) and is expected to be completed in 2007, when the facade will be complete and the interior construction can begin.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank sincerely the many car drivers on Schwieberdinger Strasse for the patience they have had to display at times in area of the construction site: However, their future reward will be an architectural masterpiece that will form a gateway to the city of Stuttgart and significantly enrich Zuffenhausen,” remarked Anton Hunger, Head of Public Relations at Porsche AG, who is also responsible for the new museum. Stuttgart will gain even further appeal thanks to the construction of the Porsche and Mercedes-Benz museums. Car enthusiasts from all over the world will travel to the Swabian city to gain a fascinating insight into the history of car construction.

The new museum building covering 24,000 square meters, which was designed by the Viennese architects Delugan Meissl, also houses the Porsche archives and a special workshop for historic vehicles. The workshop, which is home to the 300 vintage cars from the Porsche depot, can also be used by private customers who want to restore or service their valuable vehicles. On completion, the museum will also boast a coffee bar, a museum restaurant and conference area, and an exclusive restaurant operated independently of the museum.
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